Rioting against eviction

Kilmory Oib has family connections to the nearby township of Arichonan, where the tenants rioted against eviction in 1848.

At the beginning of the 18th century, Neil Malcolm of Poltalloch bought the lands of both Arichonan and Kilmory Oib among others. In 1848, Malcolm ordered the eviction of his tenants at Arichonan.

Beginning of the riot

The tenants did not go quietly and a riot began. Historical records show that those involved were not limited to the tenants of Arichonan.

Amongst the rioters were two McMillan brothers from Kilmory, sons of one of the evictees, Neil McMillan. Although arrested, the brothers escaped punishment. Their younger brother, Neil McMillan Junior from Cairnbaan, was not so lucky, however, and served an eight month jail sentence. Another Kilmory rioter, John Gillies, escaped the law and disappeared.

The Kilmory Oib tenants probably fought not only for family and for friends but because they feared their own homes were in danger of the same threat. The purpose of the Arichonan evictions was to clear the land for sheep farming.

The 1st edition Ordnance Survey 6inch map (1873-1880) indicates the location of Kilmory Oib.

Kilmory township

A detail of the 2nd edition Ordnance Survey 6-inch map (1900), which in comparison to the 1st edition map, has one roofed building.

Kilmory township large

Today, if you explore Kilmory, you can discover evidence that supports the later use of this site for sheep farming. This evidence is similar to that found at Arichonan; for example some buildings have been partly demolished, the walls left form enclosures that are ideal for keeping sheep.